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Blog: augmented-reality

On Augmenting Live Events

Chris Cameron May 12, 2011

Yesterday on the Layar Twitter account, we tweeted a link to a story on FastCompany about a new product called CrowdOptic and how augmented reality may “transform live events“.



CrowdOptic has raised some money to develop it’s unique concept that I think The Unofficial Apple Weblog describes well:



“Once the CrowdOptic system is installed at a concert or sports venue, the magic happens through triangulation. At least two people need to be pointing their iPhones at the same thing, at the same time, and the GPS location, compass direction and time of day will be used to figure out the most likely image being viewed and display information on exactly that. The accuracy is dependent upon how many people are looking at the same thing.”



A unique approach, indeed, but I was simply happy to see technology moving in this general direction.



As a sports fan, I’ve always thought augmented reality could work wonders on live sports and other events, but there are many challenges here. From my experience, phones are at times rendered useless in stadiums. More arenas are providing free wifi (whose bandwidth can get clogged) but others force phone-toting fans to rely on cell networks (which also get overloaded).



For live events to be augmented, a solution to connectivity problem is needed. Granted, not every venue suffers this problem, and smaller events could likely get around it. And it’s probably not even as widespread an issue as I may think. Regardless, solutions will come in time, just as the technology to provide more immersive experiences at live events will mature.



And as it does, just imagine the possibilities.



An example I’ve always loved is this video, which explores the possibility of a virtual offsides line during a football match. Simply hold up your phone and the line follows the further man back, turning green or red if the man is onside or not.



What if all the visual information available to TV viewers watching sports at home could appear before your eyes from your seat in the stadium, arena, gymnasium or ballpark? See that infamous yellow first-down line during a football game, or perhaps a projection of where a batter is most likely to hit the next pitch based on his past at-bats. Or see where the olympian in the swim meet or 500 meter dash is stacking up when compared to a world record holder.



If the massive display screens being erected at stadiums around the world say anything, it’s that team owners believe in-game entertainment is growing increasingly more important to fan retention.



As stadiums and sports leagues try to find ways to keep fans coming to see the events live rather than lounge comfortably on their big sofas in the air conditioned homes with 52” flatscreen TVs on the walls, perhaps it is augmented reality that will help usher the fans to their seats.



Image from CrowdOptic.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/278

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Bruce Sterling Drops by Layar HQ, Imparts Wisdom

Chris Cameron April 27, 2011

Today at Layar HQ in Amsterdam we had a special treat as sci-fi writer, futurist and all-around AR guru Bruce Sterling graced us with his presence and wisdom. 

As Bruce says, a healthy part of the growth of any important industry is the proliferation of education on the subject. Bruce will soon be teaching a class in augmented reality, which we think is a great step towards to the popularization of the technology. 

Bruce reminds us that today, it is very common to see courses, majors and professors focused around newer subjects like video games - so why not get the ball rolling on AR education?

We also bestowed upon Mr. Sterling the noble title of Guardian Seer of Augmented Reality, and presented him with a fancy trophy. 

 To hear more about the class and Bruce’s thoughts on the current state of the industry, check out the video below!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/269

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Ricky Gervais: AR is “A Load of Bollocks”

Chris Cameron March 21, 2011

If his performance at the Golden Globes earlier this year said anything about Ricky Gervais, it’s that the comedian doesn’t pull his punches or censor his opinions. Such was also the case on a recent episode of “The Ricky Gervais Show,” an animated HBO series based on the podcast of the same name.



But this time Gervais’ victim wasn’t the low-hanging fruit of Hollywood. Instead, Gervais has let it known that he thinks augmented reality is “a load of bollocks.” Gervais wasn’t pontificating on the latest trends in technology. He was engaged in a lively, comedic discussion with his fellow show stars Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington in which the later was discussing his vision for the future.



After pointing out that in the future, the human species will be significantly weaker in strength, pants will be evolutionarily eliminated from existence and all of our food will be consumed in a blended paste form, Karl suggests the idea of augmented reality technology within an everyday pair of bifocals.



“Everything that’s real, you’re not looking at that anymore. This is really the future,” Karl says. “If you’re a young kid and you like the idea of living in the urban ghetto with all the graffiti on the walls, you can see that.”



“What you mean is that the stuff that’s there in the real world is being digitally reimagined in your glasses,” adds Merchant. “So what was a nice country lane is suddenly now an urban ghetto.”



Those familiar with augmented reality can immediately recognize Karl’s vision of the future, and one could say that this technology is not far off. The building blocks of such a future are being placed as we speak. But Gervais wasn’t convinced.



“Absolutely mental. Pointless. Won’t ever work. Absolutely one of the maddest things you’ve ever said,” he retorts. “That’s a load of bollocks.”



Obviously, we disagree with Mr. Gervais, but he’s still entitled to his opinion. Check out this YouTube clip of the discussion of the future (AR shows up at 3:53) or watch the embedded version after the jump and let us know what you think of Gervais’ dismissal of AR.



We’re with you, Karl!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/251

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What Can Be Done with the Layar Platform? 5 Helpful Usecases

Chris Cameron March 7, 2011

Layar has an extremely diverse community of developers creating augmented reality experiences of all shapes and sizes. To give you an idea of the different things that can be done on the Layar platform, we’ve put together a set of case studies featuring some truly unique examples.



Below are five case studies that show the flexibility and capabilities of the Layar platform and our outstanding community of developers. For each, click the “Case Study PDF” link to view the case study in full.



Layar Augmented Office - Case Study PDF
The Layar Augmented Office is an interactive 3D model that you can literally walk into and access information about the company, layer content, job openings and more.




streetARt - Case Study PDF
streetARt is an iPhone application that displays the public art, graffiti, tags and other forms of street art in your neighborhood. The third-party app uses the Layar Player to embed an Augmented Reality view, but it can also be viewed within the Layar app.



Exile on Your Street - Case Study PDF
Exile on Your Street is the official layer for The Rolling Stones, in promotion of the 2010 Exile on Main Street (Rarities Edition) album. Create and add posters in AR, listen to audio tracks, watch videos, purchase music on iTunes, and more.



The Invisible Artist - Case Study PDF
The Invisible Artist is a 3D Augmented Reality guide to 10 of London’s top contemporary art museums.




UAR - Case Study PDF
UAR (Urban Augmented Reality) displays images and 3D models of the past, future and “what might have been” for architecture in the Netherlands.





You can also find these case studies at any time on our Examples page.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/242

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Layar: Impactful AR in Your Everyday Life

Chris Cameron February 23, 2011

It was over a year an a half ago when Layar co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald posted a video to his YouTube account revealing details of the world’s first augmented reality browser. Today that video has been viewed more than one million times, so we thought it was time to refresh it for 2011.



Today, we are very excited to introduce a brand-spankin’ new video that expresses the vision and philosophy of Layar. Produced by the wonderful people at Campfire Creative, the video below features interviews with the Layar co-founders as well as examples of the impactful augmented reality experiences that live on our platform today.





Some of the really great layers featured in this beautifully-made video include:



Please feel free to spread this video around, embed it on your website or share a link with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. If you would like to download the video, simply follow this link (Right click and choose “Save Link As”).

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/236

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